- September 16, 2006 at 5:36 pm #5559
Al's Run is a 8K race in Milwaukee which is the state's 8K championship. It draws about 20K or so of people, most of who walk. There is an elite start area, and team HillRunner.com runs it as a team.
I had a good nights sleep and felt good in the morning. Got down and found some parking midway between the start and finish areas. I got in a two mile warmup and headed to the start. Talked to a bunch of people, it seems that every year I meet more runners. Got in a couple of strides, figuring not many are needed because it's warm and I was going to start relatively slow anyways.
The start may have been the worst start ever. Mass confusion. Nobody heard the gun, and then an airhorn sounded, people looked around confused and then started running. This a big race with alot of runners, and the area immediately in front of the runners had not been cleared of spectators and there was a vehichle also in front of us. Imagine an immense crowd of runners trying to navigate a bunch of obstacles right at the start. It was pandemonium. Forutunately for me, I was right near the start and took off almost right away. I only had to dodge around a few spectators and then I was in the clear. Others were not as fortunate.
The first half mile contains a nice long downhill. I'm running it fairly smoothly and I see Matt Tupta just a little in front of me so I know I'm not going out too slowly. Chaz, another runner I know says hi as he passes me. The first mile I hit in 5:40 or 5:50, I don't recall but I remember feeling like I was on pace for my goal of breaking 30 and feeling good. The second mile it starts to get tougher, I nearly turn an ankle at one point in the road, and I'm still on pace at the two mile mark. An 11:50 I think. I'm only feeling pretty good now. Things are getting tougher. A steep downhill in the 3rd mile. I forget the 3 mile split but it must have been around 18 because I remember starting to doubt whether I'll make my goal. The fourth mile seems to take forever. I think back to my training, I've got 4 20 milers in and this is 4 times shorter. 4×4 I tell myself as a mantra that I can do this. I've got the endurance. Part of me feels like quitting, this hurts, but at least my right ankle doesn't bother me in the least. I tell myself 'fast feet' and 'quick feet' to try to improve my turnover. There is a big guy in front of me and I draft off of him for awhile and then I pass him. He stays with me for awhile because later he passes me and encourages me by saying 'We can do this' and then later 'Tuck in behind me' which I do. It makes it easier. The wind is bothersome and the drafting helps to conserve energy. At the 4 mile mark it must have been 23:58 because I'm thinking I only have to run a 6:02 for less than a mile to break 30. The big guy and I work together and through a series of turns I tell myself this is the last bit in this direction. I see the clock in front of me in the final stretch, much longer than I remember it. The digits are turning quickly, I'm giving it everything I got but that's not much. The last numbers I see are 28:59 as I go under the clock, but they direct me into another shoot, I'm the first one in so I'm thinking if they split it off by time I'm probably the first 30 minute guy. I turn around and thank the big guy for helping me out there.
Met up with team HillRunner.com plus some of the other local running legends. We did a couple mile cool down after recovering a bit.
I felt so hot immediattely after the race. I know I gave a good effort today. The worst day of the week weather wise, it got a bit warm and humid. My legs didn't feel real crisp today either. But I felt no pain from my ankle which is the most important thing at this point.
It was good representing team HillRunner.com and running with the group. Lets do it again at Jingle Bell!
- September 16, 2006 at 7:04 pm #21522
Jeff, good run. It seems like a lot of people (myself included) had some disappointing runs, so getting your goal or coming so close to it took a heck of a run.
The start was a mess. I would never have expected anything like that at Al's Run.
Results are supposed to be posted by around 6:00 this evening. Hopefully, this will include team results. As for preliminary team results, thanks to our depth and three new Team Hillrunner.com members in our top 4, I believe we have a time around 40 seconds faster than last year's team time of 2:24:24.
- September 16, 2006 at 10:21 pm #21523
I'm sure that the start will be complained about ad nauseum, but that was ridiculous. Why would the gun be positioned so only the back of the pack and walkers could hear it? The PACE CAR didn't hear the gun!!??? How is that possible? Anyway, I really enjoyed meeting Team Hillrunner. I hope my contribution helped us lock in the title again. As a sidebar, running down Wells did seem shorter to Prospect than running on Wisconsin, but the stretch on Lincoln Memorial felt just as long as ever. Again, good to meet everyone and let's do it again real soon.
- September 18, 2006 at 2:29 pm #21524
saturday morning i rode downtown with Ryan, Lisa and Double to run Al's Run (8K). the start time is rather late in the morning…10:30…more than likely to accomodate the walkers who need a little longer to wake up in the morning. the start was a little disorganized but i've seen worse. i went through the 1M in just over 6 minutes, pulling along side Double. there was 10 or so bagpipers playing which got me real fired up. shortly after the 1M, i spotted Kirby up ahead. i started to reel him in slowly and tried sneaking by him at the 2M (12:10-ish). he spotted me and said “Jerry what are you doing up here!”…likely more in jest than anything.
kirby pulled up next to me and we ran through 3M (18:30-ish) and 4M (25:00). shortly after the 4M mark, going under 794, kirby started edging away from me. admittedly, i haven't done any speedwork and my legs felt like i was running in quicksand. i ended up rolling in at 31:29 for 101st overall.
all things considered, i'm fairly pleased with the effort. it was a little warm but manageable.
next up – Lakefront 26.2 (10/1)
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